County P&Z to hear animal shelter rezone request

John Aegerter, speaking on behalf of the Weiser River Animal Shelter and Rescue, spoke before the Weiser City Council back in November 2022. The group has located property for a new facility off Highway 95, but is currently seeking a county planning and zoning rezone. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
 Washington County Planning and Zoning has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 19 to consider a rezone request for property that could be the future home of an animal shelter.
 The hearing will take place at 7 p.m. in the basement of the Washington County Courthouse at 256 E. Court St. in Weiser.
 The property at the center of the rezone request is located at 1387 Highway 95, north of town, on the west side of the highway. 
 Representatives of the Weiser River Animal Shelter and Rescue (WRASR) will give a presentation on its future plans for the site, which is currently zoned both A1 agricultural and D1 light industrial.
 “We have a bid on a piece of property north of town and, of course, it’s not zoned properly for a kennel, so we are requesting a zone change,” said WRASR Director John Aegerter, addressing the dual zoning of the property where the current owner, Catherine Pursifull, has been running an animal boarding operation.
 “They are not quite sure how that ever happened because that’s not proper anymore,” he said. “They don’t allow properties to have two zones on them. She (Pursifull) boards dogs, but that’s not why it was zoned D1. There was going to be a shop set up in the back area, but the husband never did get that going.”
 The WRASR is seeking a D2 heavy industrial designation. According to Aegerter, that’s the designation required to run a kennel.
 “Kennels can only be D2 zoning,” he said. “Our shelter doesn’t have anything to do with heavy industrial; it’s just where they put kennels.”
 He added that an anonymous individual donated the funds to buy the property, which consists of a single-family home and two structures that can be converted to serve the animal shelter’s needs. Since launching last fall, the WRASR has been working hard to raise money for a new facility in Washington County, but has had a hard time finding a proper location.
 The proposed site is already being protested by county residents.
 “At our last monthly meeting, there were at least five couples and some individuals there who are not in favor of it,” Aegerter said. “Two of them don’t actually live next door, or close by, and two of them do.”
 He added that some are concerned about rezoning the property D2.
 “That kind of opens things up on that property in the future if we were to sell it after we bought it,” Aegerter said. “That’s not our intention, of course.”
 He added that his group has a potentially long road ahead. County P&Z is tasked with either recommending the rezone request or not, county commissioners ultimately making the call in the end.
 If the rezone is approved, the WRASR, which has collected over 100 signatures in favor of having an animal shelter in the county, must raise more funds to modify the structures to fit its needs.
 “We will be taking in dogs and cats, getting them healthy, spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and trying to find them good homes,” Aegerter said. “We are not expecting any shelter to be in existence for at least two years.”
 WRASR now has approximately 60 members. The group meets the second Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. inside the Weiser library. Visit or visit the dedicted group on its Facebook page.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

Upcoming Events

Connect with Us